Eugénie Sandler P.I: profiles

Xaris Miller

Xaris Miller had only appeared in school plays and one production with the local community theatre when asked to audition for the role of Eugénie. Working on the series was a learning experience for Xaris. The older and more experienced members of the cast were very giving and helpful on set. Xaris spent most of her formative years in a house without a television, but has always been interested in performance. After school Xaris takes life drawing classes, plays soccer, performs in a band with school friends, writes short stories and composes lyrics and music for songs. Xaris plays the guitar and congo drums.

Eugénie Sandler, PI

Eugénie is a 15-year-old girl who believes she is Ray Sandler's child, raised by her father after her mother left when she was a baby. Ray tells her there is something about her past that he must tell her, but before he can, he disappears and Eugénie must find him and learn the truth about her own identity.

Matthew Vennell

Matthew Vennell somehow managed to combine working on Eugénie Sandler, PI with his final year at Upper Yarra Secondry College. Matthew took classes at St Martin's theatre after starring in school plays since primary school. Matthew is considering studying accupuncture and alternative medicines but his first choice would be drama school — possibly NIDA — the National Institute for Dramatic Arts.

Warwick Bedford

Warwick Bedford is intrigued by the quiet new girl in his class — Eugénie Sandler. When Eugénie's father doesn't arrive to collect her from school on the last day of term, Warwick offers to walk her home. Instead of going to a camp for the holidays, Warwick finds himself embroiled in an adventure with Eugénie.

Brett Climo

Brett Climo was attracted to the role of Ray Sandler because of the relationship between Ray and Eugénie. "Ray tries really hard and he has a good heart, but he does bumble around a bit," says Brett. "Eugénie has to pick up the pieces." Brett began acting at 16 — straight out of school. He has appeared in many television productions — including A Country Practice, Flying Doctors, G.P, The Man from Snowy River, Blue Heelers, Vietnam, High Country and Close Contact. Brett has also appeared in feature films — including Times are Changing, Inner Sanctuary and Midnight Espresso. Brett is also a stage performer, having performed in Fred, Hay Fever and A Hard Job.

Ray Sandler

Ray Sandler is a private investigator. Fifteen years ago he was on assignment in the Eastern European country of Versovia. He was forced to flee the country, taking with him a small baby. When he returns to Melbourne the people who sent him on the mission have disappeared. Ray brings up the baby Eugénie as his own, but the time has come when he must tell his daugther the truth about her birthright and the people who have been searching for her since her arrival in Australia.

Martin Jacobs

This is Martin's first children's television series and he found it "a lot more innovative than many adult dramas." Martin studied and worked extensively in the United Kingdom where he spent six years with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in many productions. Martin's television credits include A Difficult Woman, The Leaving of Liverpool, Deadheart, Ring of Scorpio, Jag, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Rules of Engagement and Strangers and Brothers. Film credits include White Hunter Black Heart, Turtle Beach, Over the Hill, Joey and Passion. Martin was nominated for an Olivier Award for his stage performances, and for an Australian Film Industry Award for his performance in What I Have Written.

Detective Matt Gurney

Detective Matt Gurney has a dark secret. He must find Eugénie and will go to any lengths to get to her before anyone else. But why does he want her dead?

Odette Joannides

Odette Joannides is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts. This is her first continuing role in a television series. Odette has appeared in many short films and stage productions. Her television credits include Stingers and State Coroner. Odette is an active member of the melbourne Worker's Theatre Rapid Response Team. This group organises performances to highlight issues within the community such as hospital closures or long running industrial disputes.

Detective Teresa Brady

Detective Teresa Brady is Detective Matt Gurney's partner. She doesn't know his secret, but she has a feeling he is up to no good. When Eugénie comes to her for help, Teresa's suspicions are realised.

Saskia Post

Saskia Post has appeared in many television, film and stage productions. She found this series appealing because it appeals to the entire family. This is Saskia's first major role in a children's television series. Her television credits include The Sullivans, Ocean Girl, All Together Now, G.P and A Country Practice. Her film credits include True Love and Chaos, The Great Leap Forward, Dogs in Space and Bliss. Saskia's stage productions include Endgrain, Skin, Train to Transcience, Could I Have this Dance and the children's play Hating Allison Ashley.

Angela Duvier

Angela Duvier was the Royal Governess in Versovia, before the revolution. Now that the political climate has changed in her homeland, she must find Eugénie and restore her to her rightful place — on the Versovian throne.

Alex Menglet

Alex comes from an established Russian family and studied at the Moscow State Institute of Drama. Alex enjoyed playing Davorin — a physical, comic role. Alex saw Davorin and Slavomir as the Laurel and Hardy of the series. Alex's television credits include High Flyers, SeaChange, State Coroner, Janus and The Petrov Affair. Film credits include He Died with a Felafel in his Hand, Children of the Revolution, The Long Lunch, Sky Pirates and Holidays on the River Yarra. Alex has also appeared in many theatre productions — including Julius Caesar, The Marriage of Figaro, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya and Tear From a Glass Eye.


Davorin is a devoted Versovian, working with the Royal Governess, Angela Duvier. He and Slavomir are on a mission. He knows that he must find Eugénie for the Governess, so the Princess can be restored to the throne and his country returned to the days before the revolution.

Jasper Bagg

Jasper is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and has won many awards for his work in regional theatre. He has appeared in several television series for children — including Thuderstone, Skytrackers, Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left and Round the Twist. He has also directed theatrical productions for and starring young people, including Bugsy Malone. Other television credits include Stingers, State Coroner, Shortwave, Janus, Blue Heelers, The Heartbreak Kid, All Together Now, Pheonix and The Flying Doctors.


Slavomir works with Davorin, and the Royal Governess, searching for Eugénie. He and Davorin don't mean her any harm, but their presence in her life worries and at times frigthens Eugénie.

Ewan Burnett, Executive Producer

Eugénie Sandler, PI is the second television series Ewan Burnett has made with writer/creator David McRobbie - the first being the successful and popular children's series The Wayne Manifesto. They worked together for 12 months plotting the 13 half-hour episodes. Ewan say David McRobbie, "is one of the most child-focused people I've ever worked with. His storytelling ability is phenomenal". Ewan's television credits are extensive - including Fire, Lift Off, The Henderson Kids, More Winners and Round the Twist. He was also co-creator and producer of the award-winning program for teenagers Raw. Since The Wayne Manifesto Ewan has produced the successful mini-series Kangaroo Palace, and created the drama series Mumbo, Jumbo for the Seven Network. He also created and is executive producer of the mini-series The Farm for the ABC.

Margot McDonald, Producer

Margot McDonald is one of Australia's most experienced producers of children's television and has produced several award-winning series. Her credits are extensive and include Driven Crazy, The Real Macaw, Sweat, Skytrackers, Lift Off, His Master's Ghost, Boy Soldiers and Peter and Pompey. Other credits include Stan and Georges' New Life, Georgia, Nancy Wake, The Petrov Affair, Wills and Burke - the Untold Story, The Dunera Boys, Waterfront and Women of the Sun. Margot has also produced commercials, and has served as a Councillor with the Screen Producers Association of Australia, and a consultant to the Film Finance Corporation.

The producers were looking for a 'film noir' look for Eugénie Sandler, PI, something more sophisticated than the usual children's television drama and appropriate to the upper end of the 8-14 year old age group. "A thriller specifically for kids is a rather new advent when it comes to 'kids' television' so we endeavoured to pursue a look to equate with that advent and had a lot of fun doing it. Kids are bombarded with so many forms of visual language. We wanted this series to stand out from the rest. Using influences of film noir, split screens and a Bolex camera for flash backs and flash forwards, we've managed to come up with a very exciting look which works extremely well in the drama."

David McRobbie: Writer/Creator

Writer David McRobbie originally intended the story of Eugénie Sandler, PI as a novel for teenagers, but when Ewan Burnett came seeking television series ideas for the same audience, the rough outline for the novel seemed a perfect choice. Eugénie Sandler, PI is David's third television series. His first, the award-winning The Wayne Manifesto was based on his series of Wayne books. Another award-winner, See How They Run, was created by the BBC from his book of the same name. A successful children's writer, the novelisation of Eugénie Sandler, PI is David's 24th book. It was completed after the 13 television scripts, and will be published by Allen and Unwin to conincide with the television series going to air.

Ana Kokkinos, Director

Series director Ana Kokkinos has used some innovative film techniques to add to the visual attraction of Eugénie Sandler, PI. Ana is an award-winning director. Her feature Head On had its world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival. Only the Brave won three Australian Film Industry Awards, and numerous other awards including the Women's Suffrage Centenary Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in any area of film making. Only the Brave has been shown at film festivals all over the world, including Los Angeles, Milan, London, Montreal, Goteborg, Dublin, Israel, Beijing, Geneva, Greece, Calcutta, Hungary, Rio de Janeiro and the Netherlands.

Moira Moss, Director

Moira Moss has directed episodes of the ABC-TV drama series RAW FM and the mini-series Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude. She has also directed music video clips with Deborah Conway and the RAW FM CD. During her time at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Moira directed the short film, Code Blue. It won several awards including recognition at festivals in Chicago and Italy. Another short film, Surface Tension, screened at more than 20 festivals around Australia and overseas, including Cannes, Brazil, London, New York and France.

Colin Mowbray, Director

Colin Mowbray made his first film at the age of 10 after winning a national short film competition in New Zealand. Since then he has made many short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials. Since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts, Colin has written for the ABC-TV series Shortwave, directed a video clip that screened on Neighbours, an episode of Driven Crazy and a short segment for the series Australian Story. His short film, Hang Up was a national finalist in Tropfest '99 and was simulcast on the world wide web.

Geoffrey Cawthorn, Director

Geoffery Cawthorn has directed episodes of several television series including All Saints, Murder Call, City Life, Pacific Drive, Home and Away and E Street. In Australia and New Zealand, Geoffrey has directed many magazine programs and documentaries including Crime Watch, Radio with Pictures, The Movie Show, Front Up, Ten Guitars, Southern Voices, Blind Justice and Instant Kiwis. His short film, Philosophy won several awards and was selected for the New Zealand, Montreal, Madrid, Bilbao and Flickerfest Film Festivals.